Makeup for Over 40 Women
Ever since I started researching non-toxic beauty products to help manage my vertigo, I've found some healthier and non-toxic brands and products that I love. And now that I'm legit into my forties (I'm nearly halfway to 50 OMG), I'm going to talk about these makeup products as they relate the over 40 women out there, like me.
Us ladies of a certain age require a bit more moisture and higher quality to help with our more challenging areas. And a good skin care routine is more important than any makeup you put on your face. Today I'm focusing on makeup and they are obviously great for the spring chickens out there, too ;) Oh man. That is such an old lady thing to say. WHAT IS HAPPENING??
Anyways. These makeup products may not be 100% clean (like my Primally Pure products), but I'm trying to live by the 80/20 rule because sometimes you just can't have it all. My #1 priority is to make sure there are zero fragrances. Fragrances are the main culprit to my sinus and vertigo issues, so that is a deal breaker.
Best Makeup for Women Over 40
Instead of highlighting one company for a single blog post (Like I did with my Primally Pure post.), I'm going to do a round up of my makeup favorites from a variety of "cleaner" beauty companies. I'll do a separate post with my sunscreen and hair products.
I'll start with Gressa. Oh my goodness how I love their Minimalist Corrective Serum Foundation. It's everything a serum foundation should be. I've tried others that were equally as thin, but had half as much coverage. This stuff is magical. It's so thin, yet gives me a lot of coverage without looking overdone (I'm wearing it in the photos below.).
I can't remember how I heard of the company. I think through Laura's Natural Life. And then I saw someone else mention Gressa and I watched a few YouTube video reviews and I was hooked.
I believe Gressa started out as an apothecary skincare company and they have expanded to include the serum foundations, lip color, eye shadow, and more. From the founder, Svetlana:
When creating the GRESSA concept my intention was to transcend green beauty. I wanted to take the stigma and stereotypes out of the word ‘green’. I wanted my product to represent what every woman deserves: an efficacious line that is couture yet remains uncompromising of purity. The Gressa brand is a brand that celebrates glamour and sex appeal and still remains free of silicones, preservatives, and anything that is harmful for your health.
I was worried about picking a foundation shade from the internet, but they offer a handy deal where you pay $15 for a packet of samples and if you find your match and want to purchase the full-size, you get a $15 credit towards the full-sized foundation. I ended up a 2.5 ("light neutral undertones"). They currently have a range of 11 shades from "warm porcelain" to "deep".
Many people scoff at the $62 price tag, but on most days it takes one drop (yes one!) to cover my entire face. I'm telling you this stuff is amazing. Plus, I used to pay $60 for the Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk foundation (which has a similar, thin consistency to this serum foundation, but not as much coverage), so I guess I didn't have sticker shock.
The trick to using just one drop is to put it on the back of your hand and then use a finger to dot it all around your face before buffing it in with a foundation brush (I use Bobbi Brown's Full Coverage Face Brush that I've had and used almost every day for at least three years if not longer.).
It goes on with quite a lot of "slip", so you have to massage it in with the brush to get it to settle. Which it does to a gorgeous velvety finish.
I liked the serum foundation so much, I decided to try their Lip Boost. The lip boost's have zero fragrance and are highly pigmented. Let me repeat: they smell like nothing. Major bonus points for this, Gressa!
They come in a little glass pot and I usually just use my finger to apply it to my lips.
I really like these--you can control how much color you get and it lasts a long time. Most days I have to use a lip balm over the top because I live in Denver and it's so dry.
I absolutely LOVE the Radiant Lip Boost color--it's like a blue red and I never thought it'd be a good match for me. It gives me a nice deep pop of pink on my lips. And Regal is a nice, classic, deep red. It's more true to my image above (bottom Lip Boost) than what they show on their website, in my opinion.
One other thing worth noting: their customer service is spot-on! My first two bottles of the Minimalist Serum Foundation were a complete disaster--the product was amazing, but the bottle was a mess! I went through two bottles ridiculously fast (like a month each).
I thought maybe there just wasn't that much product, but I reached out to an online green beauty queen, Sarah, from Whoorl, and she said she'd heard they had a new bottle design and to contact them. Sure enough, the rumors were true and they sent me a new bottle, at no charge! I've had it for a few months and the new bottle design is working beautifully. Whoot!
W3LL People was founded by a makeup artist, a dermatologist, and a "tree hugging" entrepreneur. From their mission statement:
You'll find our delightfully stylish products unmatched in delivering a natural "no-makeup" look. State-of-the-art, premium non-toxic formulas effortlessly deliver flawless coverage and soothing protection that's unbelievably light. With W3LL PEOPLE you don't just look good, you feel good.
I had toyed around with W3LL People's products before while in Whole Foods, but must've been using the wrong colors, because I was like, meh.
I think I then saw enough "influencers" mention the undereye concealer and how much they loved it despite it being non-toxic and that's what pushed me over the edge.
WholeFoods had a beauty sale so I bought the under eye concealer. Excuse me, the Bio Correct Multi-Action Concealer. It's a fancy name for an awesome product.
And when I loved that so much, I went back for more :)
I did a lot of review reading before I bought anything. The Whole Foods beauty sale is five (or seven?) days long, so plenty of time to do some research! Plus, they have a great, no questions asked, return policy.
Narcissist Foundation Stick
Many reviewers were up in arms that W3LL People 'changed the formula' of the Narcissist Foundation Stick and that it is 'greasier'. I wouldn't know the difference since I have only tried the new formula. I can't imagine it being any dryer than this version because it's pretty dry. Not too dry, but it definitely doesn't just glide on your face. You kind of have to press it in and then use the warmth of your fingers to blend it.
If you have dry skin, this might not work for you.
I like the color and and the coverage (I wear the "Fair Pink" shade.). It's really handy, but for me it feels a little heavy. It doesn't look heavy, but it's like you're drawing with a crayon all over your face. Knowing that it's a super clean and non-toxic formula helps, but still. That's probably why I don't use it a lot. Sometimes I use it as a concealer if I'm having a particularly "red" faced day.
In the photo below it's the second from the right. You can see how I basically rubbed the stick back and forth on my hand to get that much pigmentation.
Bio Correct Multi-Action Concealer
The one that started it all: the Bio Correct Multi-Action Concealer gives great coverage, not a lot of creasing, and doesn't get dry and cakey. What else could you ask for in an under eye concealer? Most concealers that I've tried don't give great coverage that also stays put throughout the day, but this one is awesome.
And I have some serious under eye circles to conceal ;) In the image above, it's the second from the left next to the blush. It's creamy, yet thin at the same time. I've noticed that the formula separates over time, so just make sure to knead the tube a bit before dispensing it.
Bio Tint Multi-Action Moisturizer
This is a great tinted moisturizer. It provides decent coverage and is moisturizing and creamy. I wear the Bio Tint Multi-Action Moisturizer in Fair and it's a smidge dark on me (it's the cream on the very farthest right in the picture above). If they had something lighter, I'd be in heaven.
The only downside is the "scent". It's very off-putting to me. It is "fragrance free", but one of the natural ingredients puts off a strong scent. I'm very sensitive to smell and while it doesn't last long once it's applied, it still kind of stops me in my tracks and puts me into mouth breathing mode. Ugh.
Also, you have to knead the tube before pumping it out. The formula separates and you'll get an oily mess if you don't.
The thing I love the most about this tinted moisturizer is the SPF 30--that's huge! When I first went all-in on non-toxic products, I used this every day, despite the smell.
But then my Gressa Serum Foundation came back into my life with a new and improved bottle design :) And now I just make sure to wear a good sunscreen underneath.
Nudist Multi-Use Cream for Blush and/or Lips
This is a lovely cream blush that goes on easily and the Nude Berry shade gives me a natural flushed look. Reviewers said the nude color is too nude and the nude rose is more intense.
If you haven't tried a cream blush before, this would be a great starting point. It's easy to apply (directly to your cheeks) and you use your ring finger to tap/blend it in and out. You can't go wrong. And for women over 40, this is the type of makeup that adds glow...that lit from within look we're all chasing!
Bio Bronzer Powder in Natural Tan
The reviews on this bronzer are bananas--people swear by it and say it's the most natural (faux) glow they've ever achieved. The Bio Bronzer Powder takes a little getting used to (I applied way too much at first), but it gives a nice and perfect looking tan. I really like it and use it for a subtle effect.
Plus, it doesn't have a lot of shimmer in it like many bronzers do. When you feel like you need a little color, but don't want to look like you just walked in from an afternoon on the beach after your swim suit modeling gig, this is your go-to.
Plus, it's great for travel. It has an internal sliding cap function that allows you to close it up so that the entire container of powder doesn't come out while you're on the plane.
Bio Brightener Invisible Powder
Again, the reviewers went crazy for this powder. People who had never had luck with any other powder have become converts. I can see why. The Bio Brightener Invisible Powder is a super lightweight and transparent loose powder that sets all your makeup without making it look cakey.
It rivals my very favorite Hourglass Ambient Lighting powder (that stuff is MAGICAL). It's just slightly less glowy and that's perfect for my every day!
I'm wearing the powder in this image along with the multi-action concealer and their expressionist mascara (see below).
In this photo I'm wearing the Gressa Minimalist Serum Foundation, the W3LL People Bio-Correct Multi-Action Concealer, the Make Up Forever HD blush in Pink Sand with the Tarte blush in Exposed, the W3LL People Expressionist Mascara and the Tarte So Fine liquid eyeliner. I finished it all off with the Bio Brightener Invisible Powder.
The W3ll People Expressionist Mascara is amazing--it would be amazing in a non-non-toxic product. It adds a lot of length and definition and natural looking volume. What I didn't like is it smudges below my eyes and is hard to remove it completely (there is always some left under my lower lid after removing it and washing my face).
Also, I'm not sure what ingredient is in it that doesn't agree with me, but there's something. It makes my eyes hurt and gives me a headache. I used it this morning so that I could take some pictures for this post and I had to remove it because it was bothering me.
But don't let that scare you away--the formula is amazing, it has impeccable reviews and was awarded Allure's Best of Beauty.
Make Up Forever HD Cream Blush
I've been using these two colors from the Make Up Forever HD blush line for probably four or five years. I absolutely love this cream blush formula and it works perfectly with women in their 40's or who are starting to lose some of their youthful dewiness.
I just use my middle finger to pat/dab it into the apples of my cheeks. It is the perfect amount of creaminess to allow you to blend it in while giving you a nice pop of color on your cheeks.
But for my every day, I found a better duo: I'm on my second purchase of Pink Sand (#220) and it is perfection. It's neutral and gives me the perfect flushed cheek look on my pale skin. I usually top it with Tarte's Exposed Amazonian Clay blush (see below) to really give it staying power.
I've toyed around with Tart's makeup for years. I had some great luck with their Rainforest of the Sea foundation a few years back, but the smell kept me away (it reminded me of 'white out').
I have also tried their Amazonian Clay BB Tinted Moisturizer and while the formula is lovely, it doesn't give enough coverage and even their lightest shade is a bit dark/orange on me. I could've returned it, but the SPF factor motivated me to keep it in my arsenal.
Tarte products are always created without: mineral oil, parabens, phthalates, triclosan, sodium lauryl sulfate, or gluten
I do have a few favorites from Tarte, though:
Tarte Sex Kitten and So Fine Liquid Eyeliners
I love a subtle and bold black line on my upper lash line. It feels classic and since I don't typically wear eyeshadow, this helps give my eye more definition.
Women of every age should be concerned with tugging on the lid while applying eyeliner. But for women in their 40's, it's even more important. Our skin has lost a lot of its elasticity and we can't just be pulling and tugging at things and expect them to bounce back!
Tarte makes a fantastic eyeliner, especially their liquid eyeliner formulas.
The Tarteist Double Take Eyeliner has a liquid eyeliner on one end and a creamy crayon eyeliner on the other end. I only bought this because they were out of my regular Tarte liquid eyeliner. I've used the crayon end twice. It's fine, but I did have to tug and that was a deal breaker.
The liquid eyeliner side has worked beautifully for months. It's lasted me so much longer than the drug store brands. The applicator tip is like a felt marker that seems to never dry out! That makes it really easy to apply a quick and dirty top line before I throw on some mascara.
Because even though my kids are 10 and 12, I still don't want to spend a lot of time on my makeup!
Tarte's So Fine Liquid Eyeliner is better than fine! It's really good. The formula feels the same as their other liquid liners, but with a smaller, thinner tip. I like it because sometimes I like a more subtle line than others and you can build it up if you want!
In the above photo from left to right it's the crayon end of the Double Take Eyeliner, then the felt tip of the Double Take and lastly, the So Fine eyeliner.
Side note: I took these photos right before bed and didn't wash off the liner. The So Fine liner rubbed off in the night, but the other two were going strong--even with soap and water in the shower they didn't budge. I rubbed most of it off with my towel, but a little bit of the felt marker from the Double Take Eyeliner is still visible on my hand. Makeup remover does the trick, but thought that was worth noting! That's some serious staying power :)
Lights Camera Lashes Mascara
Tarte's Lights Camera Lashes mascara is sooo good. Despite having clean ingredients! They've figured out a formula that gives major oomph to your lashes and you feel good about the quality of the ingredients.
The downside? It is hard to remove! I always have some underneath my eyes in the morning after washing my face the night before. I got sick of having to spend the extra time removing it and I worried that it was ruining my delicate under eye skin. Maybe a better eye makeup remover would do the trick, but I have sensitive eyes and the only thing that works for me is the Simple Micellar Water (that I follow with an oil cleanser for my entire face and eyes).
(I'm hugging this adorable pillow that my daughter made for me last night. I can't sew, so I'm extra proud that she's taken on this skill!)
Finding healthier makeup products, especially now that I'm in my 40's, has become a priority. Luckily there are many companies creating amazing formulas for all age groups.
Let me know if you have any questions about any of these products!